A new record for the biggest wave surfed in Nazaré may be in sight. Vinícius dos Santos, a 32-year-old Brazilian, received this week a study from oceanographer Douglas Nemes, a specialist in wave mechanics, who calculated that the wave surfed by “Vini” in Praia do Norte, on February 25, measured 29.68 meters. If confirmed, it will be the greatest of all time.
The current record, contrary to popular belief, is not held by Garrett McNamara, the Hawaiian giant wave surfer responsible for bringing Nazaré Canyon to the world. The biggest wave ever recorded, duly certified and registered in Guinness, was surfed by the Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa, in 2017, with a height of 24.38 meters. Among women, the record holder is also the Brazilian Maya Gabeira (22.4 meters, in 2020).
“Douglas is the greatest authority in Brazil for carrying out this type of study and measurement, and according to him, it was perhaps the biggest wave. But I say it sincerely. That day, when I went at sea, I didn’t think about breaking any record. Think about it. When I caught that wave, I immediately felt like it was the biggest wave of my life. But I didn’t I didn’t think about records. People watching that day also said it was the biggest wave of the morning. It was a giant thing,” Vinícius told DN, admitting to being a little scared after watching the video: “When you see it on video you have a different idea of things. The images were shocking, I didn’t imagine it was so big. I jumped about three meters at the start of the wave. It never crossed my mind to break the record, if it happens it’s a blessing”.
Vinícius dos Santos is from Santa Catarina, Brazil and started surfing at an early age. “I’ve been surfing since I was three years old and when I was 12 I was already venturing into bigger waves with my father’s board, in Praia da Vila, Imbituba. I was inspired by surfers who were riding giant waves at the time, like Danilo Couto, Márcio Freire and Yuri Soledade. Riding giant waves quickly became a life goal,” he told DN.
Vinícius came to university and at the same time was a lifeguard in Florianópolis. He saved some money and started taking the trips he had always dreamed of to destinations known for having giant waves. He came to live in Hawaii and from there he always came back to the island to surf giant waves. “That’s when I started hearing about Nazaré, by Garrett McNamara, and I started coming here. They said it was wonderful, they said it was a true paradise for big wave surfers. The first time I came was in 2018. I want something else. I come to participate in competitions or just to catch waves in sport. Nazaré is special, it’s “is a special wave. There are no swells like here. There are waves of more than 20 meters more than four times a week. It’s paradise”, drawn.
Fear costs 27 points
Big wave surfers all have stories to tell and it’s rare that those who don’t come to fear for their lives. Vinicius is no exception to the rule. “The biggest scare I had? It was here in Nazaré, at the beginning of February. I was catching a wave, I fell and the board literally broke on my head. I took 27 stitches I had a moment of panic I didn’t I don’t know if I had a skull fracture as I was wearing a cap and I feared the worst I was rescued with the help of a quad and then transported to the hospital in Leiria Despite everything it was not that serious It was hard, but not as serious as I thought, “he said, who in December, also at Nazaré, had a big cut in one ear.
Vinícius dos Santos surfed the giant wave on February 25 in the tow modality, in which the surfer is towed to the wave by a quad – Vini is a paddle specialist, that is, he goes alone in search of the wave. But on this occasion he was pulled by his colleague Lucas Chumbo, an elite big wave surfer.
The Brazilian believes it will take until October for an official decision to be made on whether or not he has surfed the biggest wave in the world. Indeed, the calculations will now be submitted to the evaluation of the World Surf League (WSL), the world surfing league, as well as experts from the Guinness Book. It will be these entities that will decide whether or not the brand is formalized as a record.
“Like I said, I’m not even obsessed with breaking records. If that happens, obviously I’ll be happy. If I’m nominated for the Big Wave Awards again, I already think that’s what it’s about.” is a great result. I have been surfing a lot and training hard with little investment, just moved by my love of the sport”, he said, he who remains in Nazaré to treat a small injury suffered in the swell of February 25, and who managed this season to conclude a sponsorship with a Brazilian pharmaceutical who helped him in his adventures.